Whoever you know him as Ric, Ricardo, Slick Ric, the Chur Master, you’ll have seen him in nearly every NZ Surfing Mag for the last 10 years, so I'm sure you all know how well the lad surfs. Yet behind this exterior of a pro-surfer chasing his dream to mak
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
"I surf in the ocean every single day, rain or shine. There is no place on earth other than my bed that I spend more time in. The Ocean is my heaven, my meditation, my life. It is the way I communicate with people and the wavelength in which I choose to live my life. It has also been my greatest teacher of respect for the people around me and life in general. I want my children and grandchildren to surf and experience her beauty too. I am not ashamed to admit that I have been standing back, ignoring the corporations (our government) who want to rip apart the sea-floor and siphon money from ‘our’ whenua. I have been too busy living my life. But the other day I thought, what if one day I couldn’t live my life in the place I called home, Aotearoa? I know there is an alternative to the majority of the excessive things I do and self-educating myself is my way forward. It’s not hard. Once I opened my eyes it was as though people and even nature itself were throwing information at me from all directions. A door had opened and my world flooded with light and potential. Reducing my consumption, becoming aware of what I’m consuming and supporting companies making eco-friendly products is a start and in time, as more and more people become aware, I’m hoping that this will sway the other companies to come up with cleaner alternatives. The money-makers still get their money but we get a cleaner environment. Boom. I am a fossil fuel consumer and I understand my current need for it in the lifestyle I choose to live. I can see a future without dirty energy though and hope we (the people, corporations and government) can all agree to put more time and money into expanding on ideas in relation to this. Look around. The universe is filled with energy; we are energy, everywhere you look, energy. An alternative I see in the short term, as we wean off this ancient form of consumption, is if we mined ourselves for our own people and own use, to me it would be okay to take as much as 'we' needed from our whenua. If we respected it as a gift from Mother Earth and used it to benefit ‘our’ people, our ocean, our earth, it would be okay. When we knowingly take too much and sell it off along with our mana to China, America, Brazil or whoever for whatever the corporations who own our government get, we run the risks of losing the things we love FOR NOTHING. We don’t see any benefits other than a few well paid jobs, great for a few yeah, but as a nation, our inequality and defunct social system remains the same. Aotearoa doesn’t need an economy based upon how many natural assets we can sell off to overseas corporations, just like our brothers over the ditch. It isn’t logical for them to be role models for a country of our size. Once all our resources are gone or if something was to go wrong, we would be crippled, legless, drowning in our own filth without the option of a clean, green, self-sustainable nation which I believe is the future of our islands. We are isolated and it can be a good thing if we use the tools in our head. It is not too late. We have a "right" to stand up for what we love!! There is time. Who doesn't want a clean ocean to be in? It is time to turn it all around and take back the control that we have in our hands. It is time to stop ignoring the facts staring us in the face and be the change for a better, more intelligent, self-sustainable nation. If you need some inspiration, there are revolutions going on all over the world. Millions and millions of human beings are becoming aware of what’s really going on in their countries and are standing up for their birth-right to LIVE, LOVE and LAUGH on their home, our home, Planet Earth. We, the people, are the majority. The moment everyone realizes this, is the moment we can start changing the things we don't like. Who doesn't want peace? Who doesn't want love? Who doesn’t want equality? For us as kiwi surfers, I think we need to work with our ocean and hear her cries for help first. Our oceans have been opened up for sale to the highest bidder and there is a lot of secrecy and bullshit around it. Yeah, we’ve had rigs in New Zealand before but certainly not at this depth and it’s our entire fricken coastline we are talking about. Our government is eager to flick them off without the support of its country and that to me is absolutely ludicrous and I’m not talking bout da rapper LUUDAAAAAAAAA. Like you all, I am busy. I am busy with my own dreams. I am taking care of my family, making sure they are smiling, putting food on our table whilst I surf around the world trying to accomplish a goal. What I can do though, at the very least, is speak on behalf of my ocean, our ocean, to my friends and anyone who will listen and hope that they will spread the message. Awareness is the first step to change! CHURRRR."
If concerns about oil spills need any concrete evidence to show the direct consequences look no further than the Rena disaster, where beaches such as this one pictured here were un-surfable by guys like Ric for over a month, even several months on the day pictured here there were still blobs of oil on the beach and the true effect on the marine and wild life will never truly be known. Photo: Cory.